THE FUTURE OF LEGAL SERVICES WILL NOT BE BUSINESS AS USUAL

This is my sixth post about law firms in the Coronavirus Crisis.

As governments around the US and the world begin to ease restrictions on social interaction, law firms, like all other business entities, are planning for “re-entry.” 

When law firms return from the compelled remote working experience, will they return to business as usual?  Will the fundamental operating models be the same as before?  Or will there be a “new normal”?  These are very real, and very important questions all law firm leaders need to answer.

History suggests that law firms revert to past practice once a crisis passes.  It is what they did after the financial crisis of 2008.  It is in their nature, they are trained to rely on precedent, and the old ways of working produce reliable results. 

I believe this time will be different for two fundamental reasons.  
Continue Reading Law Firms Must Look Ahead to a Very Different “New Normal”

AN OPPORTUNITY TO ENHANCE RELATIONSHIPS, INITIATIVES, AND HUMAN CONNECTION

This is my fourth post on law firms and the Coronavirus Crisis.  This week I’ll examine how firms can make themselves stronger in the long term, by actions they take during the crisis.

This post was inspired by a question Bob Ambrogi asked me on his show, Law Insights,  earlier this month: “Do you think there are any silver linings in this crisis,” he asked.  I answered yes and offered a couple of brief examples.  

I think the crisis actually creates a number of significant opportunities to advance firm interests, including to: 

  • Strengthen vital relationships
  • Activate institutional resources
  • Address projects that need attention 
  • Achieve a shared sense of accomplishment

Strengthening Vital Relationships

Law firms have a number of vital relationships, including, specifically, with their people, their clients, their suppliers, and their communities.  In each case there is a mutuality of interest and dependence. The healthier and stronger those relationships are, the healthier and stronger the firm is.

In a time like this, the way people interact with each other matters.  Nearly everyone is under stress, and uncertain about the future. They notice who seems sincerely to care about them, and who does not.
Continue Reading Potential Silver Linings: Making Firms Stronger for the Long Term By Actions During the Crisis

THE TRADITIONAL MODEL WILL CHANGE IN FIVE FUNDAMENTAL WAYS 

I wrote last week about law firms’ increased focus on innovation, the market forces behind it, and why it is important to the overall modernization of legal services.  

I believe this innovation effort will inexorably lead to five fundamental changes in the law firm business model.  Each change will have an impact on the others; once one changes, the others will necessarily adapt. 

Here’s how I think it will work:

Innovation Is a Search for a Better Way

To innovate is “to make changes in something established, especially by introducing new methods, ideas, or products.”  In legal services, innovation involves re-examining the established way of doing things and finding better ways that new methods, ideas, and tools make possible. 

Innovation is a search for a better way. A search that is motivated by a realization that the traditional way is no longer satisfactory.  It works, but not well enough.  It fails to draw adequately on the new reality of what is possible.  It is falling short of what the market is now demanding.

As they proceed to innovate, firms are finding that their business model needs to adapt to make a better way possible. 
Continue Reading Innovation Will Change the Law Firm Business Model